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Blue Island Restaurant Owner Claims Business Was Closed Due To City Discrimination

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A South suburban businessman believes his restaurant is being shut down and forced out of Blue Island because his customers are black.

Dozens of supporters are backing those concerns.

Adam Shorter opened Island Bar and Grill in 2012 for his family. He says it's a business in Blue Island, started so his mom could pay for her daughter's constant care after she suffered a traumatic brain injury.

"For our community it is a destination," stated Shorter.

Shorter says he was initially met with some resistance in the predominantly white and Hispanic suburb.

In March, after a shooting outside the restaurant involving a bouncer, city officials revoked his license and closed down his restaurant, which is now pending appeal. Shorter, however, believes they closed his restaurant for another reason.

"They don't like the clientele that I bring down here because they're African American," stated Shorter.

"There have been many altercations that have happened at other clubs in this area and they are able to operate their business," said Shorter's mother, Linda Brown.

Blue Island officials wouldn't comment on the restaurant's closure. The Mayor and Liquor Commissioner also failed to comment.

"City council must review the record of proceedings," said Gary Horvath, the Blue Island City Attorney.

City officials called Island Bar and Grill a "nuisance and unsafe business," stated in city documents. The documents were met by protest from than a dozen supporters with similar concerns as Shorter.

"I don't want to be part of a city that's racist," said one community member.

Officials note in the documents that the restaurant's license was suspended for a short time in 2014 after a bar fight, but there has not been anything since then.

A hearing has been scheduled for later this month.

No one was injured in the March shooting that took place outside the restaurant.

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